How to Triple Your Startup’s Growth in 300 Days

Tripling your growth as a startup in 300 days (that’s very very fast!) requires two things — a great product, and stellar marketing. That’s why in this post, we’re going to first share our product story and then move on to our marketing strategy.

Let’s get started, shall we?

We’re Not Yet Another Cloud Hosting Solution

We get asked this a lot. Why did you develop yet another cloud hosting solution?

We didn’t. We’re not trying to be the ‘first’ at anything, just trying to be the best.

We’re developing a platform that makes it easier for developers manage and operate their websites, apps and email accounts on the cloud easily, within minutes, minimal efforts required. So that developers can focus on building their products and services, instead of spending sleepless nights worrying about site maintenance issues.

The Problem with the Cloud Hosting Industry Today

Let me fill you in on our backstory.

We were already offering web hosting services (we still are). Our first project was called Redehost. The team has been working on this project for over 12 years. It was highly successful in Brazil and catered to the needs of anyone requiring a web hosting service.

Anyone who needs a platform to host their sites.

And therein lied the problem.

RedeHost was too generic and falls short when it comes to meeting the needs of developers.

Developers who run a business based on developing and maintaining websites, who depend on a hosting service for a living, require a solution that would -

  1. Provide a great user experience — a platform that isn’t clunky or confusing, with tons of sysadmin jargon, and offers all the resources that they need
  2. Have a really simple learning curve — easy to understand, use, and maintain
  3. Deploys complex sites in minutes, not hours or in some cases, days; also makes maintaining these sites easy, not nightmarish
  4. Offer excellent customer service via chat and email,
  5. Be more affordable — not pay through the nose for the hosting solution, and then spend even more hiring specialists who maintain their site and app infrastructure for them

Most hosting services today fall under two categories — simple hosting services that offer shared hosting, and the enterprise hosting services, also known as IaaS — Infrastructure as a Service.

The Solution

What developers need is something that brings the best of both worlds -

And that’s why we decided to come up with Umbler.

Umbler is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) that offers all that the big IaaS solutions have to offer, but without skimping out on simplicity, which is the USP of the shared cloud hosting solutions.

What’s a platform as a service, you ask?

A platform that you can carry with you.

Think of your files on Google Drive. All you need to do is log into your account, and then access your files.

When you do the same with hosting a website, it takes out all the efforts, time, and money spent in maintaining the site, and operating it smoothly.

Like I said, the best of both worlds. Here’s how -

1- We’re built for developers. For example, using Umbler, you can deploy your PHP and Node.js sites and apps directly from Github or Bitbucket onto our cloud. We take care of the rest. You spend less time worrying about managing your infrastructure or servers and spend more time on what you do best — coding.

2- We use a pay-as-you-go model, which helps you track where exactly are you spending your money. If you use something, you pay for it. As simple as that.

3- The crux of our UI design is — keep things simple and easy to navigate. The dashboard is clean, clutter-free, and very intuitive. Want proof? Here’s a snapshot of the site deploy screen within our app.

4- Deploying anything takes minutes, not hours or days. You can do it all by yourself, don’t have hire a sysadmin specialist or an IT consultant to manage and operate your sites.

5- One of our core business principles is to offer exceptionally good service. That’s why we’ve heavily invested in the tools we’re using to offer 24*7 support to our users via chat, email and in-app messages.

How Did We Grow 300% in 300 Days

Yes, that’s right.

When we ended Year 1, we had somewhere around 15,000 users. In less than a year, we grew that number to over 60,000 users. We also grew our team; we started with 10, and now we have roughly 30 members in our team. And we’re planning on hiring even more to meet the demands of our growing business and customer base.

What do you think we did to get there?

We created a growth strategy that focused on growing our customers’ businesses, on truly helping them do their jobs.

This might sound as cliche, but that’s what we did — rack our brains on how to best help our customers. And before we knew it, our numbers tripled. Three strategies that really worked out for us are -

#1. Building a community

After year 1, we started building a community and actively engaging with them. A community of developers looking for a solution that provided them with all the tech-savvy features they want at an affordable price. We would validate all of our product-related ideas with them and constantly ask for their feedback on every feature we launched. And this is what we believe made a massive impact on our numbers. A lot of our new acquisitions are due to word-of-mouth marketing done by our incredible community.

#2. Creating quality content

We also heavily invested in developing quality content addressing the pressing concerns that our community faced as well as questions they had, on topics such as -

  1. The Web Development Industry — A Brief Recap of Trends from 2016 and What to Expect in 2017
  2. 9 Types of Tools That are a Must-Have for Every Web Developer
  3. Careers in Web Development- Skills Required to Really Make It
  4. Top JavaScript Technologies in 2016
  5. How to Optimize Your Site Speed?

When we started out, most of our traffic came from our investments in Google and Facebook ads. As we were approaching the end of Year 2, 20% of our traffic was organic, mainly from our content posted on our blog and our social media channels. And this number keeps going up faster than ever. That’s the secret to grow exponentially — organic traffic.

#3. Participating in events

This was one strategy that gave us results really fast.

Participating in events is always a great way to stay updated on your industry’s trends. But it is also a great way to talk about your brand, acquire new leads and build networks with your industry’s influencers.

That’s why you should also identify key events in your industry and start investing in them. Trust us, you can never go wrong with this strategy.

What’s Next? Going Global

Did we just wake up one day and decide to go global on a hunch?

Not really.

We started building Umbler with the intention of going global, someday. Whenever we built or designed something, be it product-related or brand-related, we always paused for a moment to think if it would make sense to an international audience. If it didn’t, then we scrapped it and started again.

Why?

Because ultimately, we don’t want our customers to be intimidated by the idea (or the costs involved) of being global. We want to make it easier for them to host their solutions and easily scale them as their business grows. This has always been our long-term goal, and now that we’ve put ourselves on the map in Brazil, we’re a step closer to achieving it.

Within the next couple of months, we’ll be launching our product overseas, starting with South America, then to North America and then, somewhere down the line, to Europe.

We’ve already invested in the infrastructure that’d support our potential clients in North and South America.

We’ve also started hiring employees from other countries to help us build an international audience and truly understand them, just like we did in Brazil (and yes, we’re still hiring. Interested? Then write to us at jobs@umbler.com and we’ll be in touch right away).

Now over to you. What do you think about our product story? And what about our growth strategies? Have you got something to add on to them? Then share it with us in the Comments section below. Remember, knowledge increases by sharing. ;-)

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